Seattle makes me centrist (well, nearly). When I was at home in Texas, I could never understand local Republicans who would tell me how they were responsible for their own successes, and how they felt the government should get out of the lives of ordinary citizens. They fail to realize, of course, that their roads come from somewhere. Similarly, I am repeatedly amazed at the willingness of Seattle liberals to approve huge spending on stuff like light rail when their state and county are bankrupt and are barely able to pay for what they already have. Most recently there have been protests over tuition at the University of Washington which is set at about 6,000 dollars per year (though is set to rise about 30% over the next two years). They fail to realize, that road comes from somewhere.
The point I am making here is simple. Conservatives fail to recognize that they need government and depend upon it constantly everyday. Liberals, on the other hand, seem incapable of realizing that everything has a cost. I always laugh when people refer to "tax and spend" liberals, who rarely tax, just spend, and "fiscal conservatives" who cut taxes and then try and eliminate necessary programs to fund their cuts. Neither side is sustainable, and it is time for us to stop answering to the low tax/improved services gimmicks that come our way and recognize that everything has a cost.
I happen to support government influence in a number of areas where I find it to be more efficient then the private sector; where the government is needed as a referee. I do, however, believe that recognizing the cost to value ratio of every service or good provided is imperative to developing a clear view of the world and a level head in government.